Short sellers see once in a lifetime opportunity—if they can survive

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Hedge fund domino effect

With the Dow Jones industrial average flirting with 16,000, hedge fund managers that focus on betting against stocks see a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make money on what they see as an epic equity bubble.

"This is it. It's the bottom of the ninth and we're about to hit a home run," said John Fichthorn, co-founder of Dialectic Capital Management and an expert on shorting stocks. "I believe this is the best opportunity I will see in my life as a short seller."

(Read more: Short seller John Fichthorn sees best opportunity in years)

Virtually every other so-called short-biased hedge fund agrees, practically jumping up and down to alert investors of the opportunity to make money when the stock market falls significantly.

The question, of course, is when and if the managers can survive as businesses long enough to see the big returns they are so convinced are coming.